Dan Brown, best-selling author of 'The Da Vinci Code' was born on June 22, 1964.
Brown grew up as the eldest of three children in Exeter, New Hampshire and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, a decidedly up-market school where his father was employed as a math teacher, in 1982. His mother, Constance, was a professional musician principally involved in performing sacred music. Although Dan Brown actually attended local public, (i.e. open-enrollment), schools until the ninth grade he nonetheless lived with his family on the Exeter campus and participated in a college related life that was also informed by christian values- singing in the church choir and attending church camp.
Brown then attended Amherst College, graduating with a degree in English and Spanish in 1986 and spent several subsequent years attempting to establish himself as a singer-songwriter and pianist with only marginal success.
These endeavors did, however, lead him to live in Los Angeles where he taught Spanish at Beverly Hills Preparatory School to supplement his income and where he also met Blythe Newlon. This lady, - twelve years his senior, was then employed as Artistic Director of the National Academy of Songwriters. As their relationship developed Blythe used her influence in attempts to further Dan Brown's musical career.
It happened, however, that despite Dan Brown's accepted musical talents, (four CDs of his music were produced and his backers spoke of him as 'the next Barry Manilow'), his somewhat preppy and slightly reserved manner contributed to an overall inability to gain sufficient appreciation as a performance artist to justify continued efforts to establish himself professionally. In 1993 he decided to return to New Hampshire and secured a teaching job, in English, at Phillips Exeter Academy, Blythe Newlon accompanied him.
Dan Brown puts his writing career down to reading a copy of Sidney Sheldon's Doomsday Conspiracy which he had found on the beach whilst on holiday in Tahiti in 1994, saying, I finished the book and thought, 'Hey, I could do that'.
In 1995 Dan Brown and Blythe, (now describing herself as an art historian), wrote, under the pseudonym Danielle Brown '187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman'. The following year Dan Brown became a full-time writer, Dan Brown and Blythe Newlon were married in 1997, he published his first thriller, Digital Fortress, in 1998. He went on to write 'Angels and Demons' and 'Deception Point'. In the early pages of 'Deception Point' there appeared an Acknowledgement where Brown thanked Blythe Brown for her tireless research and creative input. 'The Da Vinci Code' which seems also to have benefitted from such research and input was published in March 2003 and sold 6,000 copies on the first day - going to the top of the New York Times' Best Seller list in the first week of publication. (The New York Times literary staff had, in fact, been so taken with their preview copies that they had actually openly endorsed it as a wow just prior to publication).
Dan Brown and his siblings donated $2.2 million to the Phillips Exeter Academy in 2004 establishing the Richard G. Brown Technology Endowment, to help provide computers and high-tech equipment for students in need to honor their father, who had taught there for 35 years.
(In 2005 Phillips Exeter Academy had the largest endowment of any secondary school in the United States, with a market value of $706 million).
Richard G. Brown in his day had also been a 'best seller' having written the celebrated (in relevant circles) mathematics textbook Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus with Discrete Mathematics and Data Analysis. His abilities as a teacher of math had even led to his being awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching by President George H. W. Bush.
The sales figures for The Da Vinci Code kept on growing - to the extent that it became established as the fastest-selling adult novel ever with some 40 million copies sold that had reputedly earned Dan Brown around £140 million by early 2006. A deal has also been struck with Columbia Pictures for a multi-million pound film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks as Langdon and directed by Ron Howard.